Cropper – a Phenomenal Utility

Do you find that you want to copy parts of what you see on screen? The bit you need to send to the techie folks for troubleshooting? Or, just that bit you need for some user instructions? Well – this may be the answer.

Cropper is a free utility I’ve been using for a few months, and it allows you to easily crop portions of screens at an exact size to a number of target points. For example, with a couple of clicks you have a jpg file of exactly the right size and quality to suit your needs (in most cases!).

Here’s some instructions on how to use the utility, and where to go for more technical advice..

How to use Cropper

Cropper is a freeware utility downloadable from Codeplex.

Codeplex is an ‘open source’ community facilitated by Microsoft – most of the utilities and software on Codeplex are aimed at serious software developers, and occasionally some of the developers demonstrate their skills by producing a utility for general use. Cropper is a fantastic example.

Cropper has a slightly ‘different’ interface from typical software packages you may have used – hopefully these notes will help you.

How can cropper help you?

Personally, I used cropper extensively to produce the manuals for j2e. It allowed me to capture parts of screens very easily, and very accurately – the tables in the user manual are a great example.

introducing_J2E_Manualaug09

Starting cropper

When you start cropper from the start menu, it produces a short cut on your status bar (bottom rh corner of the screen)

CropperCapture[1]

To invoke cropper, click on the + sign in the bar – this opens the cropper overlay

CropperCapture[2]

Now – let’s try to crop the picture of the cropper interface from within the screen capture above – and let’s see some of the cropper options

CropperCapture[3]

To use Cropper, simply double click in the cropper screen – this copies the image below Cropper to the destination you decide – based on the Cropper options.

Cropper Options –

These are achieved by right clicking in the cropper window

CropperCapture[4]

If you have asked Cropper to output to a file type, then this screen allows you to decide where the files are saved, and what filename increment it will give.

If you are using Cropper for a number of different projects, then create a folder for each project and change the template name to suit your requirements.

Controls

  • Right Click: Context menu on main form.
  • Arrow Keys: Nudge form one pixel.
  • Alt + Arrow Keys: Resize form one pixel.
  • [ or ]: Resize entire form while keeping the crosshairs centered.
  • Alt + [ or ]: Resize the thumbnail indicator one pixel.
  • + Ctrl: changes all resize and nudge amounts to ten pixels.
  • DoubleClick or Enter: Take a screen shot or start/stop a recording plug-in.
  • Tab: Cycle form colors.
  • Shift+Tab: Cycle form sizes.
  • Esc: Hide the main form
  • F8: Show the main form

If you want to contact the author directly, or to see the (very) technical information that he has on this tool – he can be found via http://blogs.geekdojo.net/brian/articles/Cropper.aspx

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About mikemcsharry
I run an established ICT services company (www.systemed.co.uk) in the East Midlands (UK), the majority of our customers are primary schools. The new methods of learning and collaboration are offering so many exciting developments!

One Response to Cropper – a Phenomenal Utility

  1. Pingback: WORDLE Usage Notes « Mike McSharry

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